It never seems to fail. You are trying to concentrate on the task at hand, but your mind wanders off to a completely unrelated topic. Or maybe you are about to go on a first date, but all you can think about is how horrible your last few dates have been. These are examples of unhelpful thoughts.

Unhelpful thoughts can be distractions or be destructive. Neither is helpful.

Top Tips to Managing Your Unhelpful Thoughts

 

Your mind can be a powerful ally, however, if you cannot manage your thoughts, you are not using your mind to your best advantage. Imagine how powerful you would become if you could ignore or replace your negative thoughts!! You could accomplish so much more and get greater enjoyment from your life.

Here are some strategies to manage the thoughts that don’t support you:

 

1. Maintain space between yourself and your thoughts.

It is important to remember that you do not have to engage with your thoughts. You do not focus on every person, tree, and car you pass when you are driving down the road. Most of these things pass through your awareness without you pursuing them further.

  • You can do the same thing with your unhelpful thoughts. Allow them to simply pass on by.
  • Your thoughts are simply something that you experience. You are not your thoughts. If something does not serve a purpose in your life, ignore it. What is the point in dwelling upon it?

2. Understand that it is your brain’s nature to produce random thoughts.

The thoughts you experience say little about you. It is the nature of your brain to produce thoughts. It is always going to give you something to think about.

  • Occasionally those thoughts are useful. Frequently, they are trivial. Sometimes, your thoughts can be quite disturbing. Understand them for what they are and then move on.

3. Meditation is a helpful tool for understanding the nature of your mind.

The first thing you notice when you attempt to meditate is the random and restless nature of your mind.

  • Focus on your breathing. When you find yourself fuming about your boss, wondering what happened to your high school friends, or making a mental grocery list, simply redirect your attention back to your breathing.

4. Focus your attention on a thought of your choosing.

You can think about anything you choose to think about. You can think about riding a flying bicycle, eating a lemon, or what you need to accomplish today.

  • When you are experiencing an unhelpful thought, you can decide to think about something more useful. Recognize that you have the power to direct your thinking as you see fit.

5. Apply logic.

Poor thinking leads to poor decision making. When your thoughts are leading you astray, put your logical mind to good use. Ask yourself what a sensible person would do in this situation. What is a logical, intelligent decision for your circumstances? What would you advise a friend to do?

Are negative or distracting thoughts getting in your way on a regular basis? You are not alone. The human brain loves to stay active and will wander from one idea to another if you fail to take control of it.

The key is to focus your attention on what you intend and avoid getting too involved with your random thoughts. Just allow them to pass.

If you have never meditated before, this can be an excellent way to learn how your mind works and how to deal with random, intrusive thoughts. Most importantly, remember that you are not your thoughts. There is no reason to take them personally.

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